I want to learn how to sell items on ebay-anyone have experience getting started in this?


Thank you for your kind offer to PM you, @presidentcarter. I'm not certain of your marital or relationship status as I'm unable to view your profile, just like how I have it set too, for my own, I'm not judging.
So I better be cautious about isolating in PM, thank you again...nice profile name, he was a good President, wasn't he?


Thanks, sorry I don't know anything about ebay except that buyers may foolishly overbid for my sale item and thus I may get a higher price than selling elsewhere....this is what intrigues me to learn how to ebay.
The fees and shipping costs will really eat into your profits. If you aren't familiar with shipping parcels through UPS and FedEx, you might be surprised how much it can cost. Ebay is a very transparent marketplace, and your assumptions about bidders drunkenly driving up prices are not true.


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Ebay has improved lately that's true. It's not a bad platform - it's the default platform.

Mercari really impressed me though and I've been using it for several years pretty extensively. They used to have a flat 10% fee (& no taxes for buyers!!) which was great but a year or so ago they added another 'processing' fee so it's more in-line with ebay. Ebay, also changing their fee structure lately, actually had a lower fee than Mercari would have on an item I sold there last week. So, they're close competitors fee wise now. Shipping they're pretty similar as well. Cancellations/returns = well I've been lucky in this regard having no items returned in roughly 400 transactions and can't really offer my experience. Knock on wood.

It comes down to the item and what you prefer to use. I prefer Mercari for the items I usually post there.

ebay = the sell anything platform, but some items will be in a flooded marketplace. Can be frustrating to use but has improved. Paypal has been eliminated and no longer necessary for payment.

Mercari = much easier to use and still a large audience, though not as large as ebay. App makes it easy to list items.

Poshmark = Smaller audience than the other two but especially good platform for womens' or childrens' clothes.

FB marketplace, Offerup, other local platforms = I don't use this these but they could be good for larger items you'd not want to ship.


Ebay is VERY easy to use if you want to sell a couple of items that you're sure are going to get you a decent amount of money, although beware, they take a cut if the item sells. (I sold a couple of moderately used estate tobacco pipes on there that were each worth maybe about 100 or so new - got 60 for one and 75 for the other.) That was enough money where throwing eBay about 15 dollars overall was annoying, but it didn't cut into the extra pocket money that much.

If you're doing something big like helping sell off your brother's video game collection, that can get complicated and a lot of people wouldn't want to deal with it. Let's say he has 50 Playstation games and none of them are rare, sought after, or worth particularly much, maybe 12 bucks a pop. So there is a lot of money to be made, but it's all by nickels and dimes and you inch forward towards it. You then have to make the decision, am I going to list these all at the same time? Maybe stagger them and list ten at a time, and upload a new one every time one sells? Keep in mind that eBay wants a cut with every sale and you have to budget for that. (EDIT: I forgot to mention that you can also sell items all at once in a big lot sale, that happens. But you try shipping 50 jewel cases without any of them getting damaged. You also make far less if you sell all at once - your 600 dollar total would have to probably be adjusted down to 500 or 450 if you wanted interested buyers willing to take the plunge and pay for the expensive shipping.)

Then you have to deal with shipping the items out on time, people get annoyed when they order something and it's not sent out within the week. So maybe it's better to avoid listing it all at once if you have a lot of items but not a lot of free time.

For this reason people tend to just sell the games at a vintage game store or a Gamestop, then they get a lowball price on each of them but it's taken off their hands all at once. This same model applies to stuff like vintage media like vinyl records, cassette tapes, books, VHS tapes, etc.

As far as setting whatever price, you have to look at other listings of similar items and make an informed decision. If it's a relatively expensive item like the pipes I sold, I prefer to list those as an auction, since the price has a tendency to go up when people get into a bidding war and get emotionally attached to wanting to win the item. If it's just a 15 dollar copy of Cool Boarders 2, though, why bother with all of that? Just list it as a Buy it Now, and maybe include free shipping if you really want to convince a seller to choose your item.

Auctions can get complex. You can set a hidden "reserve price" if you at least want your item to sell for a certain amount, but I haven't done that in a while and that's usually for items that are worth hundreds of dollars (like, say, if someone wants to sell his bass guitar for at least 600, and everyone who bids loses the auction if the reserve price isn't met). This protects you from listing an item that's worth 1000 dollars and getting 100 when nobody sees the auction and some lucky bidder snags it on a Sunday morning.

Some people on here already mentioned taking pictures. That really depends on what you're selling. If it's a used paperback book, don't feel too pressured to get that detailed (maybe take pictures of any major cover or spine damage) but people usually have no problem buying books sight unseen. If it's a used DVD or a CD, it's usually appreciated to take pictures of any case wear or scratches on the disc itself - just listing it as "very good" is a dangerous thing, since your definition of "very good" might not be what your buyer's is.
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One short addition to my original post - you asked about how much of your personal info is going to be on eBay. Usually, a seller gets your contact information and your address since they're shipping an item to you and need to know where to get it to. I use a PO Box for most eBay purchases for this reason since I don't want some random guy knowing who I am and where I live. Although not all sellers ship to a PO Box.

I am not sure what information gets out there when the reverse happens - if an angry buyer wants his item sooner and wants to contact you, I forget if he gets your phone number like you get a seller's. (I've had buyers call me before asking me to ship an item faster, but this was back in 2006/2007. Nowadays I think they can just contact you through the site.)
You might want to check out Cincinnati Picker or Craigslist Hunter on YouTube, there’s a whole subculture of reselling that eBay is just one component of. Craigslist can still be useful for local sales, especially of fairly in-demand and/or oversize items that you don’t want to ship, same idea with Facebook Marketplace or NextDoor and other local community apps. eBay is king in that it’s a worldwide marketplace that everyone goes to, both for commercial goods like Amazon and collectible/unique items of every type. The ~10% commission eBay takes is not unreasonable for access to such a gigantic market. Remember, the buyer pays shipping, there’s a false notion out there that the seller eats this cost in addition to fees, not true unless you have free shipping or otherwise misjudge potential shipping costs without pricing your item appropriately (people often indicate “no shipping to Alaska, Puerto Rico” etc. because of high costs). My one “bad“ experience with eBay was listing a Milwaukee tool backpack for sale with $9.95 shipping without excluding Puerto Rico, I ended up losing $10 or so after accounting for the price I originally paid.

I finally have some time on my hands to do more selling so it’s one way I plan to make some extra cash. In the past I have sold vintage Kurt Cobain t-shirts for $200-400, a McIntosh amplifier for $800, vintage NOS (new old stock) skate shoes and Yeezys for $200 a pair. Some things I already owned, others I bought through local apps. I suggest starting with things you want to get rid of, search for similar or identical items on eBay to see how to describe and photograph them and filter searches to “sold” items to gauge what prices to set for a given item’s condition. Unless its a very desirable item with a lot of interest, it’s best to list items as ”Buy it Now”, not auctions. You can always adjust the price if you aren’t getting any interest (you can see how many people are watching your item and send out periodic offers). Good luck.
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